credit-suiss 'Credit Suisse Group and society' chapter in the Business Review


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credit-suiss 'Credit Suisse Group and society' chapter in the Business Review

  1. 1. Credit Suisse Group Business Review 2005
  2. 2. Credit Suisse Group in society The key function of a business is to create value for its shareholders, clients and employees. This way, it can contribute to the prosperity of society by meeting the demand for goods and services; by providing a source of income and retirement provision; and by paying taxes. As it is exposed to competition, the company must continuously enhance productivity and develop new ideas, so adding to the pool of collective knowledge and helping to devise solutions for the challenges of society. Credit Suisse Group is aware of its responsibility towards its various stakeholder groups: shareholders, clients and employees, as well as the local community and the broader social environment. We strive to achieve economic success by consciously addressing external expectations regarding our profitability and environmental and social activities, as well as by making decisions that take account of the current and future needs of society. The Credit Suisse Group Code of Conduct contains binding values that all employees are expected to observe. Together with the company’s sustainability policy, it demonstrates our commitment to the principle of sustainability and also refers to related international conventions that we have pledged to uphold. These include the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Declaration for Financial Services Providers, and the United Nations Global Compact, an initiative under which companies commit themselves to 10 principles relating to environmental protection, working conditions, human rights and anti-corruption efforts. In this section of the review we elaborate on key factors relating to sustainability, contributing to long-term business success: – Sustainability-oriented products and services – A prudent approach to business – The efficient use of resources Franziska Burckhardt, – A responsible human resources policy Legal and Compliance (Zürich) – An active exchange of views and ideas with society Sustainability investments Among the wide variety we offer, sustainability-oriented investment products represent a small, yet innovative, selection. The Credit Suisse Global Sustainability Fund and Credit Suisse Fellowship Fund are geared towards sustainable, ethical and ecological investing. Our Global Water Basket and Alternative Energy Basket (launched in 2005) provide topical investment opportunities in the fields of environmental technology and eco-efficiency, seen against the shortage of natural resources and demands for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The Leu Prima Cat Bond allows for the financial hedging of risks such as flooding and hurricanes that are difficult to insure in the traditional insurance market. Finally, the responsAbility Global Microfinance Fund, available for public sale in Switzerland since March 2005 – on time for the UN Year of Microcredit – provides loans for micro-entrepreneurs in developing and newly-industrialized countries. The newest products with a social benefit are Charity Notes, launched in November 2005. These generate a return for the investor, while enabling the charitable foundation Symphasis to combat youth unemployment in Switzerland. Services such as individual portfolio screening with specialist advice complement our sustainability offerings. 32 Credit Suisse Group Business Review 2005
  3. 3. responsAbility Global Microfinance Fund: key facts – Launched in November 2003; available for public sale in Switzerland since March 2005 – Volume as of December 31, 2005: USD 45 million – Assets managed in the fund reach 95 microfinance institutions worldwide, which supply micro loans to around 65,000 small businesses; 69% of these micro-entrepreneurs are women – The largest direct investments are made in Georgia, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico and Ecuador – Investment return in 2005: 3.91% (Fund currency USD) A prudent approach to business As well as complying with all relevant legislation, considering the environmental and social aspects of corporate activity is a prerequisite for business success. The corresponding due diligence requirements are therefore very important, and also safeguard the company’s reputation. As we operate internationally, we must prevent our products and services from being abused, while still respecting the privacy of our clients. Besides all relevant local laws, everywhere we operate we apply the robust Swiss regulations for preventing money laundering and terrorist financing. Furthermore, financial intermediaries are subject to growing demands regarding their credibility and trustworthiness. For these purposes we are helping to establish industry-wide standards, as one of 12 international banks in the Wolfsberg Group. Concerning the ecological and social implications of our business activities, it is essential we consider credit-, liability- and reputation-related risks as an integral part of risk management. Examining ecological risks when making credit decisions has been standard practice for several years. In addition to internal directives, we have adopted the Equator Principles, a voluntary agreement between financial services providers to address ecological and social risks in project finance in accordance with World Bank guidelines. Sustainability ratings Credit Suisse has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes and the FTSE4Good Index Series for several years. These indices, which are reviewed annually, are based on ratings that evaluate companies according to various aspects of sustainability. You can also consult a comprehensive sustainability reporting package – comprising a description of the environmental management system and indicators, as well as milestones in 2005 – to evaluate the performance of Credit Suisse. This information is available at: Efficient use of resources Credit Suisse strives to ensure that its internal processes make careful use of natural resources. To monitor the appropriate measures centrally and set targets, we run an environmental management system, certified under ISO 14001 since 1997, which also includes key external partners such as facility management and catering services. Credit Suisse Group Business Review 2005 33
  4. 4. Several examples illustrate our resource-saving activity in 2005: replacing tube monitors with flat screens has reduced our energy consumption throughout Switzerland; installing water-saving tap fittings has halved water consumption, without any loss of comfort; increasing the proportion of our paper produced using sustainable forestry practices has further added to a reduction in environmental impacts; and we have reached a milestone in our pilot project (see panel) aimed at achieving greenhouse gas neutrality. These measures contribute to the more efficient handling of natural resources, while also saving money. The company’s environmental management efforts have also received public recog- nition in the award from the Climate Group, presented in Montreal in December 2005, to acknowledge the continuous improvements we have achieved in recent years. Greenhouse gas neutral in Switzerland from 2006 Derek Chan, Private Banking (Hong Kong) In 2005, we launched a pilot project aimed at achieving greenhouse gas neutrality in our activities in Switzerland from 2006, based on: 1. Increasing energy-efficiency by consciously optimizing operations and controlling investments at existing facilities 2. Substitution measures (e.g. the purchase of “green” electricity) 3. Offsetting of the remaining amount through emission certificates A responsible human resources policy Employees are vital to the success of Credit Suisse: they provide the service and advice that our clients require, and they represent the company. As banking grows increasingly complex, it is important not only that we acquire employees who have the requisite skills, but also that we train them and help them develop. Our training activity is run by Credit Suisse Business School, which aligns various sales and management training programs to our business strategy. For example, Campus Asia, which opened in Singapore in 2005, prepares employees for their roles in the Asian growth market. The School also offers specialist training in conjunction with external partners. Promoting equal opportunity is particularly important and units dedicated to diversity management support our efforts in meeting the requirements of our Code of Conduct with regard to a work environment that is free from discrimination. These measures enable us to serve a diverse global clientele with our employees’ wide range of experience and perspectives. In 2005 we received external recognition for our efforts from the US magazine Working Mother and the UK organization Opportunity Now. Credit Suisse Business School: key facts – Opened January 1, 2004 – Comprises Business Faculty and Leadership Faculty – Present on two continents: Europe (Zürich) and Asia (Singapore, Hong Kong) – Awarded Corporate Learning Improvement Process (CLIP) certification by European Foundation for Management Development in spring 2005 – the first bank worldwide to receive this – In 2005, a total of 3,469 courses involving 4,719 days of training and 45,137 participants were carried out – Over the last eight years, Credit Suisse in Switzerland has, on average, had: – 600 commercial and IT apprenticeships – 350 positions for high school and university graduates 34 Credit Suisse Group Business Review 2005
  5. 5. Active exchange of views and ideas with society In addition to shareholders, clients, analysts and the media, Credit Suisse also exchanges views and ideas with competitors, regulators, associations, government representatives, international bodies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), creating understanding and helping to find solutions to social challenges. Regular studies produced by our Economic Research department – about current issues such as family policy, the eastward expansion of the EU and innovative approaches to tax reforms – attract considerable attention. There is also a great deal of interest in the Credit Suisse Sorgenbarometer, an annual survey of the Swiss public’s concerns. In 2005 it identified unemployment, healthcare and retirement provision as the main sources of worry. Discussions with NGOs enable us to present our viewpoint and also to critically examine our own perspective, as in the case of the meeting we hosted in February 2005 regarding the implementation of the Equator Principles. All of these exchanges enable us to identify new developments, trends and expectations that could be relevant in the future. The large number of our employees who hold positions in associations, specialist groups and political bodies also help to actively shape society. The varied charitable commitments of Credit Suisse as a company, as well as those of its employees, are born of a sense of responsibility for our global community and in an effort to preserve a stable environment. Various foundations and donations departments, each with a thematic or geographic focus, make contributions to promote artistic talent, to support the integration of people with disabilities, to construct and equip schools and libraries, to mentor young people, and to address the needs of the sick and elderly. A number of devastating natural disasters occurred in late 2004 and 2005. Credit Suisse and many of its employees provided emergency financial aid to enable immediate support for the victims of these catastrophes. In the context of corporate volunteering, many employees also lent a helping hand in their spare time. Activities ranged from assisting in the renovation of playgrounds and community centers, cleaning up green spaces, performing craftwork with children, tutoring young people with their homework or mentoring students at the start of their careers. Credit Suisse’s sponsorship of sports and culture on a national and international level is yet another component of our interaction with society, and ensures that Credit Suisse is recognized by a broad public. Rebuilding after the tsunami In October 2005 and January 2006, two teams of 20 Credit Suisse employees volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, an international NGO focused on providing affordable housing, to help rebuild homes near Galle, Sri Lanka, a region severely affected by the tsunami. This was in addition to financial aid to support reconstruction efforts provided by the Credit Suisse Group Foundation, which was endowed with USD 10 million. During one week, the volunteers worked alongside local families to construct new homes. Under the guidance of Habitat for Humanity, employees produced concrete components, laid foundations, erected concrete walls and built wooden roofs. Their efforts helped the population return to a normal life, and gave them hope for the future. Adrienne Bull, Internal Audit (New York) Credit Suisse Group Business Review 2005 35
  6. 6. CREDIT SUISSE GROUP Paradeplatz 8 5520154 English 8070 Zürich Switzerland